This project will assess and report on the capacity of state tobacco-cessation quitlines to meet the growing demand for services resulting from recent and upcoming advances in tobacco-control policies, including this year's 62-cent federal tobacco tax increase. Tobacco users, especially the uninsured and those with the least education and income, are seeking help from quitlines in unprecedented numbers. In 2004, a national network of state telephone quitlines, accessible by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW, was created to provide evidence-based counseling and/or medication at no cost to tobacco users seeking help to quit. In the first five months of 2009, 1-800-QUIT-NOW fielded nearly as many calls as during all of 2008. This steep growth is expected to continue as more states increase their tobacco taxes and enact laws mandating clean indoor air. At the same time, state budgetary crises have significantly reduced funding for quitline promotion, services and infrastructure, with both states and quitlines bracing for further budget cuts in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. Leading tobacco-control experts have warned that a historic opportunity to increase national quit rates will be lost if the financial and service capacity of quitlines is not systematically assessed and enhanced. This project will support the North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) in formally surveying its members and quitline funders in 50 states and the District of Columbia, with the goal of: (1) developing survey questions to assess the current service, promotion and financial capacity of state quitlines to meet projected 2009-2011 call volumes and quantify the need for additional funding and staffing; (2) fielding the survey from October through December 2009 and analyzing the results; (3) gathering additional input from national cessation and quitline leaders to project the cost of treating at least 6 percent of tobacco users with proactive counseling and at least two weeks of nicotine replacement therapy; (4) obtaining feedback on preliminary and final results (survey and projections) from national cessation and quitline leaders; and (5) rapidly disseminating the findings and recommended actions via a manuscript for Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and a fact sheet for NAQC members, advocates and communications specialists.
Amount Awarded $49,985.00
Awarded on: 7/30/2009
Time frame: 8/15/2009 - 4/14/2010
Grant Number: 66689